WHat is your Favorite Aspect Ratio?!

Alan Wolf

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Raw keeps format shot in

Someone set me straight. If you shoot raw you have no choice but to shoot 4:3, right?

Thanks!
No, if you shoot in any of the other formats, that's exactly what the raw file opens up as, so in this case, "raw" is not truly raw. I think that was a good decision, because I know for me, needing to frame an image a second time would be a major hindrance.
 

kai.e.g.

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It probably depends on the RAW processor. For example, if you shoot at 1:1 on your E-Px camera, and open up the RAW file in the Olympus Studio Master software, you see the entire 4:3 image, but with a yellow frame indicating the 1:1 crop. You can change the crop to another aspect ratio (even custom), or ignore the crop and use the full 4:3 image.

However, if you open the RAW file using ACR, you get only the 1:1 pre-cropped version. This is why I tend to use Olympus software only for saving the file to TIFF, and then use other software to process it further.
 

bashar

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There is a difference between the format that one chooses to shoot in and the cropping done in post....picking an aspect ratio while shooting makes one think about composition, I think m4/3 was chosen because it makes the most use of the sensor area and most consumers buy cameras based on there megapixels not there artistic value... most manufactures are targeting first time users more than the pros...so even if it says m4/3 I find the 16:9 more interesting and challenging to use!
 

kai.e.g.

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Actually, bashar, m4/3 doesn't mean "4:3" - two different concepts entirely. The 4/3 in m4/3 refers to the sensor size of 4/3rds of an inch, not the aspect ratio.

As for 4:3rds equating somehow to amateur photographers vs "pros", well sorry I can't agree at all. The 4:3 ratio is popular because it fits nicely on the most common print sizes. Pros and amateurs alike might prefer one aspect ratio over another, for their own (or their employer's reasons), but it hardly labels one as being a clueless pixel-obsessed consumer if one happens to prefer, for example, 4:3.

Anyway, you're quite right that one should use the aspect ratio one wants to compose with; much better to do so as often as possible, than to shoot full-screen and crop afterwards. However, one must bear in mind that photography is not a big Olympic sporting event in which one scores points for doing it according to a set fixed of rules. One mustn't ever feel inadequate simply because one decides to shoot in 4:3, or 3:2, and later to crop a photograph to 1:1, for example (any more than one might sometimes adjust exposure, etc after the event). The end result is paramount, and however one reaches it is unimportant if that end result is successful.
 

kai.e.g.

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bashar, I correct myself: according to an Olympus product manager back in 2002, the "4/3rds" refers to "both sensor size and aspect ratio". OK, that's on the record. I wonder, though, if the consortium still backs that statement made in 2002. For example, the sensors in the Panasonic range are not 4:3 ratio, and they go out of their way to make clear that 16:9 on their cameras really is 16:9, not just a crop. My thinking is that back in 2002, because 4/3rds happened to describe both the sensor size (based on old vacuum tube technology) and sounded like the ratio 4:3, well, they just ran with that line. It'd be interesting to know if they still use that logic.
 

igi

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I use all but I've got a special liking for the 16:9 when the situation calls for:wink:
 

Linh

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The question was which aspect one preferred. That as the question, my original answer is still true, 3/2.
As some are answering as to which aspect they are using, my answer would be 4/3.
It's a 2 part question for me.
Ditto. However, for portraits I lean more toward 4:3. But I will shoot for whatever I can get the most out of the sensor I'm shooting with
 

bashar

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hello Kai, boys and girls,
I am not saying that 4/3 is less pro in anyway, but i think manufacturers of small cameras "point and shoots" and the mu 4/3 choose it because it makes more use of the sensor area to lens size than 3/2 for example, yielding more magapixels in the smallest size/economic possible... that does not mean in anyway that this aspect ratio is flawed, or wrong for being a pro or amateur, I am trying to use it, but i find myself more inclined towards 3/2 and 16/9 as I dont care much for printing photos....
I am also not a big fan of cropping because lots of times you loose the full dynamic range of exposure in the picture, ASSUMING! you had the right exposure in the first place!
 

Streetshooter

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4/3 aspect goes back before Jackie Gleason started on TV. So, if you ever watched television, I know some of us have and probably still do, your mind is trained to see 4/3.
All the aspect ratios come from film and/or TV. They in effect are all native to our vision.....
 

bashar

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funny enough, I work for TV, but dont really watch it?! I love movies though, maybe thats why i prefer wider formats...
 

graustark

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Another write-in for 1:1! 4:3 is my runner-up. Before my E-P2, I shot a lot of medium format, and even have a couple of 35mm square format cameras (Diana Mini; Zeiss Ikon Taxona; Blackbird, Fly) that I love as well.
 

nTo

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i always use 3:2 on my GF1, because if i'm not mistaken it's the aspect ratio that would maximize the image quality regarding sensor size of the GF1....
 

bashar

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Do not choose your aspect ratio based on the sensor, in fact 4/3 gives you the most pixels/ megabits but that does not effect the quality of the picture in anyway, pick the ratio that your eyes like!
 

jhob

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I am also not a big fan of cropping because lots of times you loose the full dynamic range of exposure in the picture, ASSUMING! you had the right exposure in the first place!
I don't think that's quite right. Dynamic range will be same no matter what crop you choose to use, unless I've missed something peculiar to the 4/3rds format.
 

bashar

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hello jhob, let me try to rephrase my idea! when cropping you, i tend to loose the contrast between the darkest place of the photo and the brightest, resulting in a less powerful image, imagine cropping a picture with bright sun at one end and a dark ally on the other... i like to get it right in the camera at the moment of exposure unless absolutely necessary needed...thats why i love the ep-1 and the prime, its very challenging and makes you a better photographer at the end.
 

HuubL

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Amazing that one finds 3:2 an "odd shape" or "neither one or another". It has been the default aspect ratio since the onset of 35mm film in the early thirties of the last century. I think that maybe up to 90% of all twentieth century images has been shot in that aspect ratio and modern DSLRs still use the format. I like 3:2 better for landscape photography because of the more "panorama-like" shape and 3:4 (and sometimes 1:1) better for the more square shape of portrait photography. If there was an option to automatically set the format to 3:2 when the camera was held horizontal and 3:4 if it was vertical, I would set it as my default.

My first post here. I got a GF1/20-1.7 last week. First impressions (from a die-hard Canon DSLR user with L-glass): great combo. I can't wait till the Leica adapter arrives and I'm already eyeing FD and OM adapters. Anybody's got experience with the EOS adapters? Do these accept the EF-S mount?
 

jhob

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hello jhob, let me try to rephrase my idea! when cropping you, i tend to loose the contrast between the darkest place of the photo and the brightest, resulting in a less powerful image, imagine cropping a picture with bright sun at one end and a dark ally on the other... i like to get it right in the camera at the moment of exposure unless absolutely necessary needed...thats why i love the ep-1 and the prime, its very challenging and makes you a better photographer at the end.
Aye, if you had a specific composition that worked in 4:3 then cropping it could indeed lose parts of the image important to the composition. However if you composed in 16:9, 1:1 or 3:2 such that you had all of the elements in the frame that you deemed important then this would have just the same dynamic range, only the proportions of the image would be different. The GF-1 has the ability to compose and take pictures in these formats, I'm not sure if the EP-1 does too?
 

alessandro

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I can't vote for the poll, cause square format is missing. I am with those silly people who'd love to have a square sensor. Used 120 roll on rolleiflex and then 2:3 with Leica and OM1, and find that 4:3 is more versatile. But in the digital era, I think a square sensor would be more than possible. We are going towards "evil" cameras more and more, and a square sensor would optimize any desired crop. Let's face it: the clean "full frame" shot (meaning no cropping of the original shot, with the border of the film showing on the print) is no more with us, so it goes...
I'm happy to crop at the desired ratio, but a system to "see square" in the VF I'd welcome. BTW: do Pana cameras have this option?
I'd say "free ratio". :rolleyes:
 

bashar

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sorry guys! i did not know that square format is an option, because ep-1 does not have it, my bad.
 
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